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R-VI takes big step to join new conference

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 10:49 am

Community R-VI Athletic Director Matt Thomas, left, and Secondary Principal Bob Curtis, right, address the school board about a possible NEMAAC formation.

Community R-VI Athletic Director Matt Thomas, left, and Secondary Principal Bob Curtis, right, address the school board about a possible NEMAAC formation.

The Community R-VI School Board officially approved a measure at last Wednesday’s board meeting to pursue moving its non-cooperative athletic programs from the EMO Conference to a new conference.
The current proposal is to join a newly formed conference called the Northeast Missouri Athletics and Activities Conference (NEMAAC).
Conversations have started with Class 1 schools with enrollments ranging from 60-110 students. Those schools include Wellsville-Middletown, Madison, North Shelby, Marion County, and Higbee. Both Madison County and North Shelby currently don’t have conferences.
Community R-VI Athletic Director Matthew Thomas said he was approached in December by a Marion County official to see what Thomas’ thoughts were on joining a new conference.
That conversation was followed by Thomas visiting with Secondary Principal, former athletic director, and current girls basketball coach Bob Curtis to take a closer look at where the district is at and if staying in the EMO Conference was the best move for the students.
One factor they considered is that the district has less than a handful of conference championships on banners hanging in the gym.
Currently, the district is one of the lone Class 1 schools in an EMO Conference with several large schools in Class 2 and 3.
Also, Winfield and South Callaway are both districts who may likely make a push to join the EMO Conference in the very near future.
“We are the smallest school in the EMO Conference,” Bob Curtis noted.
He noted that the R-VI does well in certain areas but in looking across a wide range of sports like baseball, softball, and track and other activi-ties, they are unable to compete well against the larger schools.
The NEMAAC with six teams would give athletic directors the chance to schedule home and away match-ups with schools closer to their size.
Bob Curtis told the board the move will also help with rivalries being strong among the schools.
Thomas noted how just among his players, the challenge it is as a coach to get his kids ready to believe in themselves when playing against the larger schools like Bowling Green.
As for driving distances, all potential schools in the new conference could be reached within an hour.
It is expected that the other five schools are to have answers by their March board meetings.
Community R-VI currently schedules games with all schools each year except for Higbee.
In looking at the history of the district being in the EMO Conference, it was noted that the district joined at the time to avoid being an independent school.
With 10 games locked down, the district would only have to schedule six other nonconference games. Bob Curtis said the conference number of schools could increase in size. If a new conference is formed, the move for the schools involved will start in the 2018-2019 school year.
Meeting minutes
Also in the Community R-VI School Board meeting, the board voted to approve the agenda, the payment of January 2017 bills, and the following consent items:
A. Meeting Minutes – Regular Session December 14, 2016
B. Transfer to Teacher’s Fund from General Fund
C. Nurse’s Report
D. District Substitute List– At this time we do not have any new additions.
E. April 2017 Ballot
F. Set Public Hearing Date and Time to Discuss the 2017-2018 Calendar- March 15 at the beginning of the board meeting.
G. District Evaluations
1. Vocational Programs
Community R-VI 1st grade student Gabby Knipfel presented the newsletter and an update on the elementary school. Michelle Ebers gave an update on the technology department.
Community R-VI School District
School board member Andrew Fairchild thanked OPAA! for the delicious Board Appreciation Dinner.
Three drafts of the 2017-2018 school calendar have been sent to staff for comments.
Community R-VI Superintendent Cheryl Mack presented the transportation report and discussed that MoDot will be meeting at the school on Friday, January 20 at 4 p.m. She also discussed the recent cuts to transportation money and the CSIP and Bright Futures meeting. There was nothing new reported from OPAA! at this time.
Community R-VI Elementary Principal Tammy Angel and Secondary Principal Bob Curtis gave updates on both the elementary and secondary buildings.
The board also voted to extend Cheryl Mack’s contract through the 2018-2019 school year.